The spring real estate market is an exciting time because it typically boasts more sellers and more buyers which makes it a perfect time to find your dream home. However the spring market can also be a fast moving and competitive time. You don’t want to find a house you love and lose it because you don’t understand the real estate process. These tips will help you navigate NH real estate during the spring market.
1. Choose an agent – If you are a buyer, navigating the real estate market alone is not a good idea. A buyers agent is a real estate agent that is there to represent the buyer exclusively. They are paid out of a commission that comes from the seller and the buyer pays nothing for this service. Real estate agents are well versed in the process of buying and selling and they know the area and the local real estate market very well. If you find a house you like the real estate agent would write up the offer for you and handle all the negotiating between you and the sellers through the seller’s agent. Choosing an agent is the first step in buying a house in the spring NH real estate market. In order to choose an agent ask for referrals from friends and ask an agent if they can provide any testimonials from past customers.
2. Get Pre-Qualified – Sitting down with a loan officer is a very important first step to your home search. Obtaining a pre-qualification from a reputable upper valley mortgage lender is a must. You need to know how much you can qualify for so that you are able to narrow down your home search and make a serious offer on a home. The benefit of being pre qualified is that it gives you the ability to make an offer on the home of your dreams as soon as you see it. A pre qualification letter tells a seller that you are a qualified buyer and they can feel confident accepting your offer because you have taken the time to get a pre qualification from a local lender.
3. Make a must have list – Real estate can become an emotional game. When you are ready to start looking at houses make a list of priorities that your house needs to have. Consider the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, land and location/neighborhood. It is important to keep this list so that if you fall in love with a house you can measure it against your wish list and see how it stacks up. It’s important to remember that the sellers will probably be taking all of their furniture so you need to make sure you love the space for your own use, not simply the way they decorated or set things up. And it’s important to remember that you can always make upgrades to the interior but if it has a small yard or the neighbors are really close, these are things that can’t be changed.
4. Consider the details – People often forget to consider the monthly cost of utilities and taxes. You may be able to afford a home but those smaller expenses can really add up. It is important to ask the sellers how much they spend on their utilities. If a home has an old inefficient heating system it could cost a fortune to heat. These costs can add up and it’s important to prepare for them in advance.
5. Keep a level head – When you see a house you love and you can imagine yourself living there, it is easy to look past some important issues. It is wise not to make an offer on a home until you’ve had a second showing. Entering the home for a second time gives you the opportunity to look at the property with more scrutiny. NH real estate can be fast paced during the spring market and knowing there are multiple showings or other interest in a property you like can become stressful. You don’t want to lose a property you love but you also don’t want to get ahead of yourself for fear of competition. Take your time, visit the home twice if possible and sit down with your agent and discuss if you’d like to make an offer and what conditions you would like.
6. Organize your documents – Buying a house requires a lot of documentation. You will provide your mortgage lender with a lot of paperwork when you fill out your mortgage application but then during the process you may be asked for additional documentation. Keeping current pay stubs, bank statements and your taxes on file will make it easier to produce these documents on request.
Buying a house is a very exciting time. Following these tips will help you avoid bumps along the way and ensure you are prepared for the home buying process. If you are shopping for a home in the upper valley and you’re ready to get your pre qualification, contact Title Mortgage today at 603-643-1400 or apply online now.